Leeds University hosted three teams on Wednesday to kick off the first series of matches for this season’s BUCS league. The Women’s 1sts faced the Birmingham 1st team in the Premier North, while the Women’s 2nds were pitted against Huddersfield’s 1sts in Northern 2B and the Men’s 3rd came up against Sunderland 2nds in Northern 5B.
Unfortunately, before the first match had begun, one of the 1st team players was unavailable to play, meaning they had to call up a player from the 2nds to fill the Singles 2 slot. Both of the first round singles matches were won by Birmingham in two games, but the reality was that it was a far closer affair. Leeds were very unlucky not to take the first match to a third set with great defence around the court keeping them in the match, but a few shots marginally wide of the line resulted in Birmingham narrowly winning the second game 19-21.
The first doubles game was arguably the match of the day with Leeds coming out of the blocks strong, winning the first game 21-17. However, Birmingham took the next game, tying the match up and bringing it down to the third and crucial final game. Leeds fought hard in the last game, but Birmingham were as equally determined, resulting in a 20-all deadlock, which meant that two clear points were needed for victory. Despite a valiant effort from Leeds, Birmingham managed to secure these two points to end the match.
By the time the last match was to be played Birmingham had already won, although, this did not stop the diehard attitude of the second doubles pair in representing their University. Similarly to the first singles match, they also had a chance to take the match into a third deciding game, but again narrowly missed out 18-21.
In a reversal of fortunes the Women’s 2nds and Men’s 3rds managed to record easy victories against their respective opponents. Sunderland managed very few points against a far superior Leeds with their players cheering like they had won the lottery whenever they managed to win a point. One of the Sunderland players even managed to forget his sportswear and instead played in his jeans. Unsurprisingly, the Men’s 3rds managed to beat the Sunderland 2nd team 8-0.
The Women’s 2nds recorded an identical result, whitewashing their opposition as well. The performance of the day – from any of the sides – undoubtedly came from Hannah Charlton with a dominant singles display where she only dropped one point in the first game to win the match 21-1, 21-0.
It was, therefore, a mixed bag of results for the badminton teams, but there were plenty of positives to build upon for the remainder of the season. Indeed, both the Women’s 2nds and the Men’s 3rds start to the season is extremely promising after managing easy victories against both of their opponents, whilst the 1st team score seemed harsher on paper than it was in reality. They will no doubt face plenty more stiff competition throughout the year, since they are in the top Northern conference, but the same attitude and some better luck will definitely lead to better results for Leeds.
Photo Credit: University of Leeds